Family Law

Need & Ability to Pay

In order to award alimony, the Court must find that one party has a need for alimony and that the other party has the ability to pay the alimony.  Need and ability to pay are determined by deducting from the spouse’s net income (including any income imputed to the spouse) the spouse’s reasonable and necessary living expenses in the lifestyle that spouse became accustomed to during the marriage.  The purpose of alimony is not to equalize income; rather the purpose is to meet the lesser wager-earning spouses need.

Contact us today for a consultation and find out how we can help with your alimony issues.

Factors the Court Will Consider in Determining Alimony

The factors the Court will consider in determining whether to award alimony:

  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage (Marriages of less than seven years are usually considered short-term marriages; marriages of greater than seven years, but less than 17 years, are usually considered moderate-term marriages; and marriages of 17 years or greater are usually considered long-term marriages)
  • Each party’s age and physical and emotional condition
  • Each spouse’s financial resources, including non-marital and marital assets and liabilities of each spouse
  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of each spouse and, if applicable, the amount of time it would take for either spouse to acquire the training or education needed to find employment and be completely or partially self-supporting
  •  Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including services provided by one spouse related to homemaking, child care and career building of the other party
  • Responsibilities of each party after the divorce regarding caring for minor children
  • Tax treatment and consequences to both spouses of any alimony award
  • All sources of income available to either spouse
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Contact us today for a consultation and find out how we can help with your alimony issues.


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